TREA­SURES FROM THE SEA

What could be more tempt­ing than hav­ing an all-you-can-eat buf­fet? One that of­fers you a treat from the ocean? Ex­pe­ri­ence the seafood night at the Sher­a­ton Oman Ho­tel and in­dulge in a de­light­ful treat with trea­sures from the deep.

HI Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - STORY AND PHO­TOS SALEM AFIFI — salim@time­so­fo­man.com

Lovers of seafood; it is time to en­joy an ex­ten­sive seafood buf­fet at Sher­a­ton Oman Ho­tel. Taste the new flavours of the sea­son.

The seafood night at the Sher­a­ton Oman Ho­tel has al­ways been their sig­na­ture with quite a fol­low­ing, as they served noth­ing but ex­cel­lence and of course fresh-out-the-wa­ter fish good­ness. Af­ter the ho­tel re­opened last year the seafood tra­di­tion was brought back, and to­day the seafood night is the most sought-af­ter af­fair for seafood con­nois­seurs.

As my col­league and I ar­rived at the beau­ti­ful Court­yard, we were wel­comed by friendly wait­ers who es­corted us to our re­served table by the win­dow. As I sat en­joy­ing oceanic aro­mas that filled my nos­tril, the man­ager came and gave us a quick tour of what was on of­fer.

The core con­cept of the night is of course seafood, but the way they in­cor­po­rated a va­ri­ety of cuisines into the buf­fet left me in amaze­ment. In­doors, you can find hot and cold mezze, desserts, shrimp, and sushi, and my ab­so­lute favourite paella sta­tion. Out­side, there’s a grilling sta­tion where they serve a va­ri­ety of sea crea­tures in­clud­ing seabass, a pasta sta­tion for Ital­ian food lovers, a fresh lumpia for Asian food afi­ciona­dos, and a one-stop-shop for ev­ery­thing crabs.

The hunger was kick­ing in, so I dived into cold mezze and shrimp salad, which tasted amaz­ing. Then, I grabbed my plate and headed out­doors for some grilled good­ness. The aroma of fire-kissed fish is just de­li­cious. I took a bunch of shrimps and some seabass. What I love about grills is that the oceanic taste is well pre­served and in­fused with smoky flavours. The seabass was soft and full of flavours, and the springy prawns were just the way I like them — smoky and a bit crunchy. You can ask the chef to make it crunchier if you are a fan of crunchy grills, or you can opt for the al­ter­na­tive and or­der it slightly grilled.

I was de­ter­mined to fill up my plate, so I went to the crab sta­tion and took a cou­ple of sand­wiches made of crispy, deep-friend soft-shell crabs, splashed with a spe­cial in-house crab may­on­naise, topped with a bunch of let­tuce and onion, and sand­wiched on a fresh bun. The soft­ness of the buns with the crispi­ness of crabs was quite de­li­cious. I went back and got me third crab-on-a-bun treat, it was that good.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing my sand­wiches, I was al­ready full, but voices in my head kept on telling me to suck it up and try the paella. Well, try­ing the paella was a given, as it is my favourite Span­ish dish. I or­dered a small por­tion of the paella with mix of seafood and a bunch of veg­eta­bles. The dish was to die for, it tasted some­what creamy with a tomato-based sauce. The dish was the pin­na­cle of all dishes here. A true high­light for the night.

By the time I fin­ished my won­der­ful rice dish, I was as full as one can be, but I left a tiny space on the left cor­ner of my stom­ach, ded­i­cated to the Asian fresh lumpia. I went to the sta­tion and asked for the tini­est por­tion pos­si­ble. The chef was su­per friendly; she gave me a bit of his­tory on the dish as she got crafty with it. It’s ba­si­cally a del­i­cacy made of crepe-like sweet bread, and filled with your choice of ei­ther prawns or chicken, then topped with thin-cut slices of pota­toes, sweet pota­toes, and some greens, then folded and slathered with thick, creamy peanut sauce. The dish wasn’t my cup of tea, but it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence. I en­joyed the sweet taste of the crepe as it blended with the creamy peanuts, but the fill­ing didn’t work for me. Still, it’s a must-try for food lovers, it may end up be­com­ing your favourite treat.

Over­all, my ex­pe­ri­ence at Sher­a­ton’s seafood night was ex­cel­lent. The food was great, so was the ser­vice, the am­biance, and the live mu­sic. I had grilled fish, Span­ish good­ness, and taste of Asia, all in one night, what else could you ask for? I had my eye for the pasta sta­tion but shov­ing the food down my thought would’ve been a real strug­gle, so next time it will sure be the first sta­tion to savour. Till next time, Sher­a­ton.

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